Saturday, May 29, 2010

rec.arts.movies.local.indian - 3 new messages in 3 topics - digest


Today's topics:

* Gifts for Him on - 1 messages, 1 author
* THE LEGEND OF GOOPY GYNE AND BAGHA BYNE - 1 messages, 1 author
* nike trading <free shipping paypal payment>( - 1
messages, 1 author

TOPIC: Gifts for Him on

== 1 of 1 ==
Date: Thurs, May 27 2010 7:22 pm
From: jane song

gifts for him


== 1 of 1 ==
Date: Fri, May 28 2010 6:22 am
From: and/or (Dr. Jai Maharaj)

The legend of Goopy Gyne and Bagha Byne

By Arnab Ray
The Pioneer
Wednesday, May 26, 2010

With Tapen Chattopadhyay's death an era has come to an end. But all
those who grew up with the immortal characters of Goopy and Bagha
will take solace in the fact that Goopy has finally joined Bagha in
the happy land of ghosts where they shall lighten up the world beyond
with their sense of humour and music

Waking up and reading about the demise of Tapen Chattopadhyay, the
Bengali actor famous for playing the role of Goopy Gyne in Satyajit
Ray's Goopy-Bagha trilogy for children (the last was directed by
Sandip Ray based on a story written by Satyajit Ray), the first thing
I thought, like countless of Bengali people of my generation, was:
"Goopy will sing no more".

Rabi Ghosh, the freakishly gifted actor who played Goopy's partner
Bagha Byne, died 10 years ago. But since he played many other
memorable comic characters in Bengali movies, the conceptual
connection between him and Bagha was not so 'one-to-one' as that
between Tapen and Goopy Gyne.

Today with Tapen Chattopadhyay's death, however, one also remembers
Rabi Ghosh and the partnership they forged as Goopy-Bagha, the
endearing musical superheroes who would always save the day, no
matter the odds. The sadness we feel today is not only for the
passing of a true artiste but also that of a magical age when movies
were works of art, stories were true and simple, soul ruled over
special effects, and characters stayed in our hearts long after the
end credits had rolled.

Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne (1968), the first in the trilogy based on
characters created by Satyajit Ray's grandfather Upendrakishore Ray
Chowdhury, was one of the first movies I ever saw in a cinema
theatre, that air-conditioned house of light and shadow where I would
enter a few Sundays in a year, clutching Baba's sleeve in one hand
and in the other a trusty Kwality Choco-bar, my most favorite ice-
cream in the whole wide world.

For those who do not know the legend of Goopy-Bagha, a little
introduction. Singer Goopy and drummer Bagha were rural simpletons
with two common traits, an unquenchable desire to express themselves
musically and a total lack of any talent. Thrown out from their
respective villages by angry citizens and the king for their tuneless
singing and rhythmless drumming, they retired to the forest. There,
however, their singing and drumming was music to the ear of the King
of Ghosts and his army of happy spirits. Being denizens of a higher
plane of existence, they appreciated the netherworldly charms of
Goopy and Bagha's music and broke into a grand group dance.

Pleased by their ability, the King of Ghosts granted the duo three
wishes -- the ability to get any clothes and any food they want by
merely clapping their hands, a pair of golden shoes by which they
could be teleported anywhere in the world, and the power to make such
beautiful music that would make people stay frozen to the spot
(shades of Harry Potter's Petrificus Totalus). Armed with these magic
spells, Goopy and Bagha walked the Earth till they came to Shundi, a
peaceful kingdom under threat from the kingdom of Halla. There with
the help of song, dance, much bumbling and laughter, Goopy and Bagha
spoil the plans of the evil war-mongering Minister of Halla, the
person who was precipitating the conflict restore peace to the world
and get married to the princesses.

I saw Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne in 1979 when I was four years old. I
don't remember much of what exactly I loved but I do remember
laughing through all of it. After all a movie with magic, beautiful
songs, the antics of Goopy and Bagha, the dance of fat ghosts and
memorably funny evil characters just could not go wrong. It was,
however, on subsequent viewings of this classic, and I have seen it
many times, that I not only saw the political subtext but appreciated
the subtle nuances of Satyajit Ray's craft -- his ability of
underplaying humour and his use of irony, the poetry of the songs and
the beauty of the music (he was the lyricist and music director), the
genius of the "dance of the ghosts" special effects and the magical
"bringing-a-lump-to-the-throat" sequence when at the crack of dawn,
Goopy and Bagha discover their metamorphosis into actual musicians,
their faces alight with wonder, catching the rays of the Sun as Anup
Ghosal's ethereal voice sings "Dekho re nayan mele jogoter bahaar"
(Open your eyes and witness the beauty of the world), the most
beautifully symbolic depiction of artistic awakening I have seen
captured on screen, a cinematic equivalent of Rabindranath Tagore's
'Nirjhorer Sopnobhongo'.

In 1980, the sequel Hirok Rajar Deshe (In the Land of the Diamond
King) was released, 12 years after the original. The expectation was
thick in the air, cinema halls were booked full. I remember going in
with my parents and the moment Tapen Chattopadhyay and Rabi Ghosh
came on the screen, in full colour, the entire hall exploded. In this
instalment, Goopy and Bagha lock horns with the evil Hirok Raja (made
unforgettable by the genius of Utpal Datta), a king who with the help
of an equally wicked scientist-magician has made a brainwashing
machine into which he throws in his subjects and makes them into
zombies. Then they are put to work in diamond mines, minting money
for him. Goopy and Bagha join hands with the dissident Udayan Pandit,
played by Ray favourite Soumitro Chatterjee, who is Hirok Raja's
enemy numero uno because he wants the citizens of the kingdom to be
educated and liberated in spirit, something that Hirok Raja dreads.
And again after a series of hilarious adventures, including Goopy
Bagha's run-in with a tiger and the evil magician and his machine,
Hirok Raja and his band of sycophantic Ministers are overthrown and
happiness reigns.

Hirok Rajar Deshe might not have the joyous simplicity of Goopy Gyne
Bagha Byne but it more than makes up for it with its astringent
satire and more nuanced political undertones, Hirok Raja being the
archetypal corrupt and megalomaniac totalitarian ruler, who bases his
rule on the 'brain-washing' power of propaganda, mis-education, re-
writing of history and the merciless suppression of all dissent. The
final scene of Hirak Rajar Deshe where liberated subjects rush out
and pull down giant statues of Hirok Raja while singing "Dori dhore
maaro taan, Raja hobe khaankhaan" (Pull at the rope and destroy the
power of the king) was Ray's prophecy for the regimes that ruled
through the "cult of the personality" and within a few years
identical scenes would be repeated across Europe as the Berlin Wall,
statues of Lenin and Ceaucescu would come down in exactly the same

The last movie of the trilogy Goopy Bagha Phire Elo (1991) was a
disappointment. Directed by Sandip Ray, based on a story by Satyajit
Ray at a time when the master was seriously ill, it did not match up
cinematically to the standards of the preceding two. Storywise, it
was excellent though-being the darkest of the three. Goopy and Bagha
are getting old and when another evil sorcerer promises to turn their
ages back by 20 years if they steal for him, they give in to the dark
side of the force. But they ultimately realise the folly of their
ways, guided by their moral compass -- the King of the Ghosts -- and
foil the plans of the evil sorcerer. Goopy Bagha Phire Elo was
beautiful in that it captured the tragedy of aging brilliantly with a
sequence where Goopy and Bagha make peace with the inevitability of
old age by saying "As long as one gets wiser and earns more respect,
growing old is actually a step up". Such moments of brilliance were
however few and far in between, the acting from the side characters
overtly theatrical, the direction from Sandip Ray not as sharp and
the music, the life-blood of the series, quite definitely weak in
comparison to the previous two.

So what was the secret behind the success of the characters of Goopy
and Bagha? First of all, they were golden-hearted simpletons -- one
could empathise with them far easier than with two other popular
literary creations of Ray -- the super-genius Shanku and the uber-
cool Feluda. Second, Tapen Chattopadhyay and Rabi Ghosh were
masterful actors with brilliant comic timing, their chemistry
unsurpassed and I wonder whether anyone else could have breathed so
much life into these characters as they did. Third, Goopy and Bagha
captured the essential Bengali character -- they would break out of
prison by offering the guard a tasty head of fish and stop wars by
raining magical milk-based sweets from the heavens. And like
Bengalis, they had the wanderlust, wandering from place to place:
Bonete, pahare, moruprantore (in the forest, in the mountains and in
the desert) whenever they felt frustrated with life. Food, sleep,
travel and music -- that was all they had and all they wanted. What
could be more heroic to a Bengali than that?

The characters we grow up with become an intrinsic part of who we
are. So it is only natural that the demise of the faces we associate
with those characters will cause us sorrow. At the same time, let us,
however, take solace in the fact that Goopy has finally joined Bagha
in the happy land of the ghosts where they shall lighten up the world
beyond with their sense of humour and song.

And maybe another generation of Goopys and Baghas, while wandering
into the forest or surfing on Youtube, will encounter the King of
Ghosts and be blessed once again with the "jobor jobor teen bor"
(Three Great Blessings) of friendship, music and innocence.

- Arnab Ray is the author of the book May I Hebb Your Attention
Pliss published by HarperCollins.

More at:

Jai Maharaj, Jyotishi
Om Shanti

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== 1 of 1 ==
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